767.68119/8–2346: Telegram

The Ambassador in Turkey (Wilson) to the Secretary of State


917. Now that US, Turkish and UK replies have been sent to Soviet note on Straits, question arises as to further developments this problem.

Following occurred to me: We have nothing whatsoever to gain and risk losing something if international conference is convened for revision Montreux Convention. Our interest would seem to lie in maintenance status quo during next 5-year period Montreux Convention. If this reasoning is sound, we and British should avoid taking initiative to convene such a conference and leave any initiative in this sense to Soviet Union. As regards Turkish position, I am informed by Secretary General, Foreign Office, that at Cabinet meeting to consider Turkish reply opinion was unanimous that Turkey’s interests would be best served if no conference to revise convention is held.

While British, Turks and ourselves are, of course, committed to attend conference for revision Montreux if such conference should take [Page 856] place, there is no reason we should facilitate action looking to convening conference. Our notes have effect of returning problem to Soviet door and it would seem wise to leave it there for present at least.78

  1. The Department replied in telegram 623, August 29, 4 p.m., that it agreed and did not contemplate taking initiative to convene a conference for revision of the Montreux Convention (767.68119/8–2346).